Group gives Trump, Congress lowest grades in annual environment scorecard

Group gives Trump, Congress lowest grades in annual environment scorecard
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump MORE and congressional Republicans scored record lows on an annual analysis of pro-environment voting records, released Tuesday.

The 2017 League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Scorecard gave Trump a failing grade and handed GOP Senators a 1 percent average score for positions they've taken on energy and the environment in the past year, the lowest scores in the history of the organization's rankings.

"There’s no getting around it: at the federal level, 2017 was an unmitigated disaster for the environment and public health with President Trump and his Cabinet quickly becoming the most anti-environmental administration in our nation’s history," read the report.

The findings compiled by LCV, an environmental activist and lobbying group, also highlighted increased differences on environmental policies in Congress.

The highest rankings went to members from mostly blue states, with the lowest rankings handed largely to Republicans in red districts.

The results come at a time when science policy changes are increasingly under the microscope.

As the Trump administration makes moves to consolidate Environmental Protection Agency offices, remove environmental regulations and bring more industry voices into fact-finding processes, environmentalists are accusing the government of putting science on the back burner.

LCV says its scores were determined by looking at the voting records of members of Congress during the 115th voting session. With the help of various environmental and conservation groups, the scorecard measures how members supported various environmental legislation on topics including energy, climate change, public health, public lands, wildlife conservation and spending for environmental programs.

A total of 46 Republican senators were given a score of 0 percent last year — indicating that LCV says they voted for or against legislation in a way to hinder public health on every occasion. By contrast, 27 Democratic senators received a perfect, 100 percent score.

Democrats in the House and Senate overall were given a 94 and 93 percent pro-environment voting record, respectively. Republicans in the House and Senate received just 5 percent and 1 percent marks, respectively.

The report also highlighted what it called somewhat unexpected voting results from House members of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, a group self-described as working to achieve policy options to address climate change.

Caucus membership, which is half Republican, hasn't necessarily affected the GOP members' voting scores. LCV gave Republican members on the Caucus an average of a 16 percent voting score.

"Joining the caucus can be an important step, but it’s simply not enough; we need these Republican members to vote for climate action, to lead on real solutions, and to push their colleagues and party leadership to do better," read the report.